Doctoral education/PhD studies

Medical biochemistry spans a wide field of disciplines and scientific techniques.

At the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB) there is research within many fields and our doctoral education (PhD studies) can be directed towards e.g. medical biochemistry, redox biology, medical chemistry, medical protein chemistry, molecular structural biology, medical biophysics, matrix biology, cancer research, molecular neurobiology, molecular biology, nanoscience, vascular biology or medical genetics. Many activities at the department can be classified as functional genomics and proteomics and a training program within this field is offered at the department.

Green light for principal supervisor

Before advertisement of a new doctoral student position and project, the proposed principal supervisor needs to obtain a ”green light” to serve as such.

ʽGreen light’ – approval of a supervisor before the start of a new doctoral project

To apply for a green light at MBB, please fill in the form that can be downloaded here and hand it in to the study director (Elias Arnér) or administrator for doctoral studies (Alessandra Nanni) at MBB.

Green light application form

Eligibility for doctoral studies

All prospective doctoral students must meet both the general and the specific eligibility requirements for doctoral studies. The application for eligibility assessment (application Form 1) should first be submitted to the central administration at Karolinska Institutet. You will find the address in the application form.

Please note that the application for eligibility assessment must be approved before you can apply for admission to doctoral studies at MBB (application Form 2). The processing times for eligibility assessments may be up to three weeks. If your application is incomplete, it may take longer.

Members of the doctoral admission board

Elias Arnér Biochemistry
Martin Haraldsson Chemical Biology
Nicola Crosetto Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology
Eleni Gelali Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology
Katja Petzold Molecular Structural Biology
Jens Hjerling-Leffler Molecular Neurobiology
Björn Högberg Biomaterials
Simon Elsässer

Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology

Formal admission

Admission as a PhD-student is granted by the admission board for doctoral studies at the department, which meets five times per year. Before filling in the forms, carefully read the Rules for doctoral education and the General study plan.

Your application should be handed in at the latest two weeks before the committee meeting. The application must be complete, including the following documents:

  • Approved eligibility (Form 1 signed and stamped)
  • Application form (Form 2, signed by all parties involved)
  • Individual study plan (signed) with its attachments:
  • CV and certified copies of grades or diplomas to show that the subject-specific requirements have been fulfilled
  • Research plan (please use the template below)
  • Proof of financing
  • Copies of existing ethical permits (if any)
  • Proof of supervisor competence

  • Proof of green light for principal supervisor

  • Documents proving proficiency in English, if necessary

All forms can be downloaded at Forms and documents for doctoral education.

Discussion checklist

To ensure that the student and supervisor are in agreement on what are the obligations and rights of the student during the PhD studies and to ensure that the division head is supportive of the proposed doctoral training, the following checklist should be used and submitted together with the application:

Discussion checklist (word)

Admission board meeting dates 2018

Dates of meetings Application to be received
May 15 May 1

Note: late applications are not accepted. To avoid delay, please ensure that your complete and correct application is sent to the administrator of doctoral education well in advance of the deadline.

Credit Transfer

If you have taken a course outside KI, or if you took a course before being admitted as a PhD student, you can apply to have the credits transferred to your PhD program. You can also obtain credits for other activities, such as conference presentations, journal club and seminars. Fill in the form number 13 and attach a suitable proof (e.g. a certificate signed by the course organizer, or a conference abstract showing that you have presented a poster, or a signed statement by your supervisor that you have attended journal club X times over Y years) and send it to the Director of doctoral education.

Follow up of the individual study plan

Annual review of the individual study plan

The study plan should be followed up yearly in terms of time plan for courses and progress of research. Fill in the form named "Yearly follow-up" and send to the director of doctoral studies. Note: when approximately two years of full time training have passed or an estimated two years remain (whatever comes first), a half time review (see below) should be done instead of a regular annual review.

In case of essential deviations from the study plan this should be revised and sent to the director of doctoral studies.

Activity report

It is the doctoral student's responsibility to report on his/her activity and financial support for each semester. Send the information to the administrator of doctoral studies, who will register it in Ladok. Activities here refer to the proportion of equivalent full-time involvement that a doctoral student has devoted to his/her doctoral studies.

Course credits

Doctoral courses passed at KI are automatically entered into LADOK.

Credits for doctoral courses examined at other universities have to be transferred to KI. Fill in form 13 named "Credit and qualification report" and send it to the director of doctoral studies. Please use one form per course. The same form can be used also for other credit-bearing course components (e.g. conferences, research visits, seminar series, teaching).

Half-time seminar

When approximately half of the stipulated time has passed, every doctoral student's research project should be reviewed. To be allowed to perform the half-time review, the student must have fulfilled 7.5 credit points of basic general science courses. The student should write a short (about two pages) summary of the project. In addition, the student should present the achieved results and a plan for the future in the form of a seminar.

The half-time seminar should be planned well in advance. Contact the administrator of doctoral studies to decide on time and place.

The review committee shall consist of three persons, two could be from MBB but detached from the project and one should be from another department or university.

The application for half-time review, LADOK excerpt, suggested review committee, a literature review of the research field (normally about eight pages excluding references) and the summary as well as publications, manuscripts and copies of ethical permits should be sent to and approved by the director of doctoral studies.

The PhD-student should then distribute this material and a copy of the study plan to the members of the review committee and advertise the seminar on the department e-mail list, which should give a link to the summary.

After the seminar, the review committee should give their recommendations and suggestions, preferably written down for follow-up by the student and supervisor. The official form Half time review should also be filled in after the seminar and then handed to the administrator of doctoral studies for registration in LADOK.


Director of Doctoral Education/PhD Studies

Elias Arnér

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 869 83

Officer of the Doctoral Education

Alessandra Nanni

Phone: +46-(0)70-710 58 17